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Commencement to receive a digital boost

Bill Nye "The Science Guy" will deliver the address at Lehigh's 145th commencement on May 20.

Social media and live video will be integrated into the commencement ceremonies for the first time when the members of Lehigh’s Class of 2013 receive their diplomas on Monday, May 20, in Goodman Stadium.

Two large-scale video boards will project images of speakers and commencement exercises, and Inside Lehigh will feature a social media grid showcasing selected celebratory tweets and Instagram shots from graduates, family, friends and alumni using the #lehighgrad hashtag. The grid will also feature fun and interesting facts about the last four years. 

The university’s 145th commencement will begin at 10 a.m. in Goodman Stadium. Bill Nye, a scientist and former TV host, will deliver the main address and receive an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree. Physicist Mildred Dresselhaus, author James Carroll and attorney James R. Tanenbaum ’70 will also receive honorary degrees.

Carroll will deliver the main address at the Baccalaureate Service at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, in Packer Memorial Church. A pre-Baccalaurate reception for seniors and their parents will be held in a tent next to the STEPS building at 2:30 p.m.

A doctoral degree hooding ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in Baker Hall of the Zoellner Arts Center.

Commencement guests are urged to arrive and take their seats by 9:30 a.m. to prevent traffic delays. The ceremony will also be broadcast indoors in Stabler Arena.

Nye, executive director of The Planetary Society, has hosted three TV series, including Bill Nye the Science Guy, on the Science Channel, PBS and Planet Green. He has won seven Emmy Awards for writing, performing and producing. Science Guy earned 18 Emmys in five years. Nye has also written several children’s books, including Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.

Dresselhaus, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Science, is co-author of four books on carbon science, Institute Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics at MIT and a recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Science. She has served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, treasurer of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, president of the American Physical Society, and chair of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics.

Carroll, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters, is Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University and a columnist for the Boston Globe. He is the author of 10 novels and seven works of non-fiction. His novels The City Below and Secret Father were named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times. His memoir, An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War that Came Between Us, received the 1996 National Book Award in nonfiction.

Tanenbaum, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws, is a corporate and securities lawyer and a partner of Morrison & Foerster LLP, one of the world’s largest international law firms. He chairs the firm’s Global Capital Markets practice and is recognized for innovation in structuring complex domestic and international capital market transactions and for developing widely used hybrid techniques for the placement and distribution of securities. Tanenbaum is also a former chairman of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees.

Story by Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013

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